Swapping for a 409 - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Mississippi
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Swapping for a 409

I am changing my 1963 Impala to a 409. It is not numbers matching, so I don't feel too bad in switching. I have several questions:
1. will I need heavier front springs?
2. will I need a bigger radiator?
3. I currently have a 4-speed, will I need a different clutch?
4. I am putting dual 4-bbl on the 409 on a stock manifold, will I have hood clearance issues?
5. What should I do about a distributor?
6. What am I forgetting?

I have the 409 rebuilt and ready to go. I am trying to sell the 327 in the car, while potential buyers can hear it run.

Thanks,
Greg
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg in MS View Post
I am changing my 1963 Impala to a 409. It is not numbers matching, so I don't feel too bad in switching. I have several questions:
1. will I need heavier front springs?
2. will I need a bigger radiator?
3. I currently have a 4-speed, will I need a different clutch?
4. I am putting dual 4-bbl on the 409 on a stock manifold, will I have hood clearance issues?
5. What should I do about a distributor?
6. What am I forgetting?

I have the 409 rebuilt and ready to go. I am trying to sell the 327 in the car, while potential buyers can hear it run.

Thanks,
Greg
1. Heavier springs yes! You have many options (stock replacement spring lowered height spring, or you can use a six cylinder spring to both lower the car and provide better weight transfer for drag racing).

2.You will need a bigger radiator.

3. The 409 used an 11" clutch (168 tooth fly wheel and starter motor);a SBC and six cylinders use a 10-1/2" flywheel (153 tooth flay wheel and starter). You can still retain your smaller flywheel and starter and it will bolt up to the 409 and work, but it will not hold as well as the biger clutch disc will.

4. Yes the car shipped from the factory with a 348 or 409 as an optional motor so it will clear.

5. I would use an HEI or you can reuse your small block Chevy distributor in the409 (it will bolt in, but it will have the wrong weights and springs for optimal performance).

6. Headers?

Big Dave
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg in MS View Post
6. What am I forgetting?
Send that ratty old 409 to me, you don't want the headaches of all that HP

But seriously...

The fan shroud will be different.

And you have no doubt thought about the air cleaner, since it will be very different with the dual carbs (and very expensive $769 http://www.show-cars.com/cgi-bin/com...ction&key=6928 )

You will need a 3/8 fuel line with return line

And if you want to get accurate looking, a Ballast Resistor for the ignition.



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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 05:25 PM
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with all this talk about going faster wouldnt he need to get a better brake system?? Or could he leave it stock, I mean I'd hate to see someone get hurt. This is if you havent upgraded to all disk brakes.... would there be any clearance issuses below?? Or are the motor mounts the same?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 09:30 PM
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Biggest difference between stock drums and new discs is in their ability to shed heat. The drum brake will stop the tire from rotating just fine at any time you jump on the brake pedal. But that is a skid, which you do not want. Instead you want to drag it down quickly by heating the drum with friction. Too small or thin a drum and the heat will either melt or warp the drum.

A drum brake off a pick up truck designed to stop a one ton or larger light truck can be addapted to work on a B-body car (roundy-round racers have been doing it for decades before disc brakes were available). The larger heavier drum becomes a heat sink to absorb more heat, but drums are harder to cool than a ventilated disc which is why racers use them now.

Once again get going too fast with a solid disc brake, or one that is too light, and you will have the same problems you have now with the factory stock drum brakes. That is why the C4 Corvette uses the same brakes to drag it down from speed as are found on the front of a one ton truck as far as discs are concerned (13" dia. x by 1-1/8th inch thick) The bigger the swept area the more heat it can shed in less time. The heavier the metal disc, the more heat it can absorb without deforming or failing from a strength of materials perspective (of course the 'vette uses aluminum hubs to keep the unsprung weight down compared to the one ton truck; which weighs a ton, with their duplex wheel cast iron hubs and larger wheel bearings.)

Big Dave
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-08-2010, 11:23 AM
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You might consider stopping over at www.348-409.com I am a member there and I am swapping in a 409 in to my 62' there is a lot of good Info found there.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-26-2010, 08:11 AM
 
 
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Easy conversion

I slipped a 409 four speed in the place of a 283 powerglide, and it was a fairly easy fit. I went with the correct 1962 409 radiator, the correct fan shroud and a new viscous fan blade. The dual quads fit well under the hood. I used an aftermarket air breather (less expensive).

Behind the engine, I went with a Lakewood scattershield, 11 inch clutch setup, and a Borg Warner T-10 four speed. Had to modify the driveshaft length to fit. Went with a stocker 3.36 posi out back. Choose a good clutch setup, the first one I dusted in maybe 5 minutes (lots of power!).

I now have some 9000 miles on her and she performs well. Go for it, but I'd keep the original 327 if you can (for some future owner?).

I installed new springs (I went with the HD wagon springs) all around and in my opinion she sits tooo high in the front. I used HEI and had no clearance issues.

I recall somewhere on the 348-409 web site there was a sticky that details how to make the swap from a V8 PG to the 409 with a four speed. Check that out!

Cheers!
Tom Kochtanek
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